Early Literacy: The Red Chalk

For the latest Kinder-2nd grade yoga class, I chose the book The Red Chalk by Iris van der Heide.  This is a such a terrific book to talk about the ideas of imagination and boredom, and also lends itself perfectly to a class focused on backbends.  In The Red Chalk, Sara is super bored with her toys and constantly is "trading up" - or so she thinks.  Each time she trades a toy with a friend, she turns her back and walks away. With her back to her friends, she misses all the fun ways they are using their newfound treasure. We used this observation (on each page) to talk about how sometimes we forget to pay attention to our backs in yoga because we can't see them!  The kids spent time in both prone and supine backbends, and all of them noticed that when in prone poses (on their bellies) it was so much harder to breath. We played around with shifting our bodies in the poses to see if breathing became harder or easier.  We ended class with a Challenge Pose - Wild Thing. I love teaching this pose because it is so rewarding and motivating for the kids, but its also a bit of a "risk" for them in that flipping over can be a little scary.  Seeing their faces when they successfully flip - and then do it over and over - is such a great experience!